THE Government’s decision to commandeer the National Liberal and the Constitutional Clubs for war purposes has caused consternation among the members, who, however, have submitted to the inevitable with as good a grace as possible. Their patriotic conduct is in marked contrast to the angry protests which the Daily Chronicle and other journals have raised against the violation of the ark of Liberalism. The former paper observed that the appropriation of its neighbour’s premises in Northumberland-avenue might, perhaps, be justified, but the commandeering of the National Liberal Club looked like Government conspiracy against the spirit of Liberalism. By one paper we are told that all the National Liberal Club’s “intellectual and spiritual services to the nation are ruthlessly being cut away to serve a passing military convenience”. It is difficult to think of a more unpatriotic expression than “a passing military convenience” to describe the immediate military urgency of the business to which the building will be devoted. We fancy that many will agree with us when we say that it will probably do the members of both these party clubs much good to go out into the wilderness for a while. There they will be able to view, aside from party claims and party prepossessions, some of those questions of social and political reform which ought to be considered on their merits, and not on an estimate of their relation to party ends.
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